Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting™

Published: June 1, 2018

When patients feel as if they are tired of camouflaging unwanted bulges, lumps and bumps their thoughts often turn to liposuction or CoolSculpting. Either procedure can yield excellent results but many patients ask us “which one is better?”


According to recent statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in America. Almost a quarter million people had liposuction in 2017.

At Edina Plastic Surgery our board certified plastic surgeons are all very experienced in liposuction procedures. Our surgeons perform liposuction surgery with local or general anesthesia to allow for the most comprehensive fat removal possible. Liposuction procedures are performed in our onsite, fully accredited and licensed surgical facility.

During liposuction, small incisions (around an eighth of an inch) are made to allow access to the area where the fat is to be removed. When the surgeon inserts a cannula and turns on the suction, small yellow round lobules travel down the plastic tubing from the body into a plastic canister. The surgeon tailors and sculpts the area by moving the cannula throughout the fatty bulge from different incision sites. There is a true art to doing liposuction correctly which is why patients should consult board certified plastic surgeons.

The typical liposuction procedure location may include the neck, arms, back, abdomen, thighs, knees or ankles – and sometimes all or a combination of these areas.

CLICK HERE to see our before and after photos from liposuction procedures


CoolSculpting is a noninvasive fat reduction technology offered at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery. This fat-freezing procedure uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise and has become very popular in the U.S. after receiving FDA approval in 2010. The results are proven, noticeable and lasting.

The treatment works best on people who are already near their ideal weight but are bothered by the presence of localized fat deposits in areas such as the abdomen, thighs, muffin top, back, hips and chin.

During the treatment, a gel pad and applicator will be applied to the targeted area. The CoolSculpting applicator delivers controlled cooling to the targeted fat. Patients may feel a slight pulling sensation and numbing cold during this time. During the procedure patients often read or take a nap.

CLICK HERE to see before and after photos from CoolSculpting


One of the reasons liposuction is the second most requested cosmetic procedure is that it has many advantages over CoolSculpting such as:

  • The fat reduction is more complete and more aggressive
  • Better contouring can be achieved with liposuction
  • The results are more immediate
  • Many patients combine it with other surgical procedures done at the same time


  • Liposuction has possible surgical risks
  • Downtime of a few days with some activity restrictions for 3 to 6 weeks
  • There is a potential for surface irregularities
  • It is usually more costly than CoolSculpting depending on the number of treatments


  • This procedures is completely noninvasive
  • There is no downtime or minimal downtime
  • CoolSculpting has fewer risks
  • Depending on the number of treatments, it is generally lower in cost
  • This option works for patients who can’t have or don’t want surgery


  • Results are less dramatic when compared with liposuction
  • Possibility of surface irregularities
  • There is a rare risk of pain or paradoxical increase in fat
  • Areas of the body that can be treated can be limited by fit of application head
  • Results take approximately three weeks to be noticeable

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